Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 14, 2011

Percentage of American kids who are visited by the tooth fairy, according to a Visa Inc. survey: 90

Not immune from the country's lingering economic challenges, average amount of money left by the popular cuspid collector in 2011, a 40-cent decrease from last year's $3 per tooth: $2.60

Percentage of children who receive no money from the tooth fairy: 10

Source: GfK Roper.

Percentage of teachers who favor getting rid of incompetent teachers, regardless of seniority, according to a national survey of public school teachers conducted by the National Center for Education Information: 90

Percentage of public school teachers hired since 2005 who entered teaching through alternative teacher preparation programs -- up from 22 percent of new teachers hired between 2000 and 2004, 8 percent in the '90s and 4 percent in the '80s: 40

Source: National Center for Education Information.

At a crowded beach, percentage of people who consider six feet to be the closest acceptable distance to sit next to another stranger, according to the results of the annual beach etiquette survey by TripAdvisor: 28

Percentage who are comfortable with three feet: 28

Percentage of respondents who consider it unacceptable for a stranger to request assistance with applying suntan lotion: 79

Source: TripAdvisor.

Number of times greater that the median wealth of white households is compared to that of black households, according to a Pew Research Center analysis that provides the first look at how the Great Recession impacted the wealth of white, black and Hispanic households: 20

Number of times greater that the median wealth of white households is compared to that of Hispanic households: 18

Source: Pew Research Center.

Year "The Shadow," one of the most popular programs heard on radio during its golden age, was heard for the first time, though its famous opening did not appear until several years later, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1930

Year the last show in the series was heard: 1954

Number of radio stations in the United States when "The Shadow" premiered in 1930: 618

Estimated number of stations there are today: 14,300

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of businesses that say they were planning a company picnic this summer with everything from Frisbees, dunk tanks and egg races to drinking games, jousting and medical testing, according to a survey from the Advertising Specialty Institute: 41

Percentage that say they were hosting a picnic for the first time or the first time in recent years: 8

Percentage of employees who say they generally attend: 50

Source: Advertising Specialty Institute.

Percentage of employees who said they want flex time (e.g. summer Fridays or ability to leave early on certain days), according to an Adecco Staffing U.S. survey of employees in the summer of 2011: 60

Percentage who said they'd like extra vacation days this summer: 53

Percentage of Americans who indicated they believe that it's appropriate to dress more casually in the summer: 74

Source: Adecco.

Percentage of Americans who track their spending against a monthly budget, according to a study conducted for Bankrate: 58

Percentage of Americans who reported higher net worth than one year ago: 26

Percentage of Americans who have adequate emergency savings: 24

Source: Bankrate.com.

Based on a five-point scale, where five is a great impact of caregiving on their performance at work and one is no impact, percentage of working caregivers who chose five, according to a special survey of Americans who self-identified as caregivers in Gallup Daily tracking surveys throughout 2010: 10

Percentage who picked somewhere between two and four: 44

Percentage of caregivers who reported one to five days missed work days per year because of caregiving duties: 36

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of Americans who believe that the state of sportsmanship is worse now than when they were growing up, according to the annual Awards and Recognition Association's survey on the state of sport: 71

Percentage of respondents who want good sportsmanship to be rewarded: 80

Source: Awards and Recognition Association.

Idle Thought

"A neurosis is a secret that you don't know you're keeping." -- Kenneth Tynan, critic and writer

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)